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All Things Ampersand

Featured Gallery Artist: David Camp

Sycamore Flame by David Camp
Sycamore Flame, 12″ x 12″, oil on Gessobord

Plein air artist and Texan, David Camp is a member of the Oil Painters of America and the Outdoor Painting Society.  His work Blue Harmony was chosen by Lewis Wines for a label on their summer vinho verde style wine.  David is represented by both the Taste Wine Art-Kirchman Gallery in Johnson City, TX and RS Hanna Gallery in Fredericksburg, TX.

All things Ampersand, 
Karyn Meyer-Berthel 
Artist & Social Media Specialist 
Ampersand Art Supply 

Click here to explore the full selection of Ampersand panels and tools.

Featured Artist: Madeline von Foerster

The Promise, von Foerster
The Promise, 16″ x 20″, 2012

“I find Gessobord to be an ideal painting surface:  smooth, even, and with the perfect amount of tooth.  I don’t know about any other panel out there that is both archival and sustainably sourced, two factors which are very important to me!” ~Madeline von Foerster

Madeline von Foerster, American born artist living in Germany, carefully plans and executes with beautifully rendered detail “living still lifes.”  Madeline has perfected the 15th century Flemish Master technique, mische, working in layers of egg tempera and oils to achieve a glowing work which is realistic but also breathtakingly luminous.   Madeline explains her love of both the media and subject matter in her artist statement, sharing that meaning and beauty are the two cornerstones of her work.

Pangolin, von Foerster
Untitled (Pangolin), 36″ x 36″, 2012

Madeline has always felt the pull as an artist, drawing being a favorite thing for as long as she can remember.  With steady encouragement from her family, Madeline pursued art school studying at the California College of Arts and Crafts and with Philip Rubinov-Jacobson.  Her education and patience exude through her exquisite detail and process.  Before Madeline worked in the “mixed technique” or mische, she pursued oils “ala prima” for many years.  She shares further, “
I was a huge fan of the Flemish Renaissance Masters, but when I tried to emulate their effects (glowing colors and crystalline details), I had the feeling I was missing out on some crucial information.  It was next to impossible to achieve what they did using my methods and materials, and the attempt was an unrewarding ordeal.”  Upon learning of Professor Philip Rubinov-Jacobson’s seminar in Austria, she signed up immediately.  The style resonated with her, and Madeline has worked over 50 paintings in the mische technique since.

Madeline von Foerster
Bufo Periglenes, 8″ x 8″, 2011

With Madeline’s appreciation for creating a quality painting in style and technique, she has found the perfect match in Gessobord, a well made, quality panel that will stand the test of time.  “Good materials are part of an artist’s necessary support system – they are part of what allows an artist to do his or her best work.  Good brushes, panels, and paints are more pleasurable to use and provide superior results – but also, most importantly, they don’t get in the way,” she explains.  

On her website, Madeline gives a detailed explanation and work in progress photographs of how her paintings are completed.  You can see her rendering, underpainting, layers of egg tempera and oil paint.  Madeline also lists her upcoming shows, press and other events. 

All things Ampersand, 
Karyn Meyer-Berthel 
Artist & Social Media Specialist 
Ampersand Art Supply 

Click here to explore the full selection of Ampersand panels and tools.

Featured Artist: Mark Battista

It is actually more cost effective to use good quality materials and get the most out of the hours developing their craft, rather than slow down their learning by limiting themselves with inferior products.” ~Mark Battista

Madonna di Castello Buccino

Connecticut artist and teacher, Mark Battista works in a variety of media, interchanging watercolor, oil and charcoal depending on the subject matter and the feeling he wants to impress.  Mark’s work flows out of his own photography, travel and experiences.  Currently, his work explores the universal theme of change. . . the changing landscape, its structures and its inhabitants.  In turn, Mark chooses the media best suited to represent the concept.  He shares further, “When interested in capturing a fleeting impression, gesture and specific quality of light, I often work in watercolor.  For my more finished images and images that I really want to explore details, textures and form, I use oil on Gessobord™.  The consistent surface texture of the Ampersand panels responds so well to washes, block-ins and fine detailed and impasto work.  The board surface allows the brush and paint to feel like an extension of oneself.”  

For years, Mark prepared his own panels, as his former professors stressed the need to work on masonite.  Once teaching and family life set in, Mark needed a more efficient way to work, and his research looking for a pH balanced surface brought him to Ampersand.  “From the first initial wash, I knew that this was the surface that I was looking for.  I love the quality of the surface right bout of the box, but have also experimented with adding a few thicker more textured layers of acrylic gesso on the board for a less uniform surface,” he explains.

Mark encourages his students to purchase the best materials they can afford.  He finds that good materials effect the work process and the final outcome.  “When using good grounds, brushes and paints, one can concentrate on trying to express themselves in the most honest way possible without spending time and energy dealing with inferior products and materials.  I also value those who purchase my work and believe in only selling images made on the best materials possible, so they will hold up over time,” Mark shares.

You can see Mark’s work in person at the Case Memorial Library Gallery in Orange, CT with the show Double Vision,  opening on August 7, 2014 and running through the month of August.  Mark is showing his photography alongside his paintings in conjunction with his nephew’s photography.  Mark is also represented by the DaSilva Gallery and the Frame Shop Gallery of New Haven, CT.

All things Ampersand, 
Karyn Meyer-Berthel 
Artist & Social Media Specialist 
Ampersand Art Supply 

Click here to explore the full selection of Ampersand panels and tools.

Mark Battista’s Oil Painting on Gessobord

Figure 1

“The painting was inspired by a woman that was watching a procession in a small piazza in Italy. The title of the work is The Braid, Buccino, Italy by Mark Battista, oil on Ampersand Gessobord™.

I am usually inspired by a particular subject, light quality, shadow pattern or overall mood based on a life experience. When not able to work from life, I try to work from a combination of quick sketches, color studies and photographs.  I will often spend days creating quick thumbnail studies in order to work out the basic abstract underlying forms, value structure and elements of the design. All the detail in the world can not substitute for a well designed composition.

Once the design has been determined, I will sketch the drawing onto the Ampersand Gessobord. Sometimes the sketch is done with vine charcoal, working from large masses of shapes and slowly refined. Other times the sketch is done in pencil and generalized forms are slowly developed. A light series of cross hatched lines indicates shadows and planes of the face.

Figure 2

The sketch is fixed and then a very diluted wash of oil paint and turpentine is applied over the board. Occasionally, a rag is used to gently pat the surface if a less textured result is desired. The board is allowed to completely dry. (fig. 1)

Linseed oil is introduced gradually more and more into the linseed oil painting medium.  I begin painting in the large masses by establishing the major shadows, mid tone and light areas of the subject. Major value changes are adjusted and their relationship to each other is continually evaluated and adjusted. Often the background color will influence the skin tone and tonality in the clothing area. Many times the color of the background is brought into the color of the flesh, hair and clothing to help harmonize the colors. After the major forms of the face are established, I begin exploring the smaller planes of the face, taking care to observe the variation of edges and color changes within a form. (fig. 2)

Figure 3

The image is slowly built up with thicker layers of paint, less medium and more paint is used. Shadows are glazed down with more medium, while highlights are built up with thicker paint. The various layers which are cross hatched across the form begins to create a luminosity similar to that achieved in watercolor . Subtle changes in value and color are observed and recorded while allowing other areas of the painting to be less defined and more expressive. The work is allowed to dry completely  and a final varnish is applied. (fig. 3)”

Written by Mark Battista

Click here to explore the full selection of Ampersand panels and tools.

Featured Artist: Linda Pearlman Karlsberg

Water Lilies XXIV, 16″ x 24″

“Really excellent materials are the tools artists rely on, and they can either enable and enhance the process, or in their absence, handicap one’s process” ~Linda Karlsberg

From an early age, Massachusetts artist, Linda Pearlman Karlsberg was passionate about drawing.  She began lessons in the third grade and had the amazing opportunity to study as a high schooler with the School of Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and Massachusetts College of Art.  Linda continued her studies in college, first working in a liberal arts program at a university so she could take both fine art and liberal arts.  However, Linda found the classes to be lacking, so she transferred to Boston University’s School for the Arts program. “It was so exciting right from the first class and semester; there was so much to learn and the professors were great both with hands on instruction and as mentors,” she explains.

October Dusk Pembroke, 14″ x 21″

It was in college where Linda made the choice to pursue oils, as her major was painting.  She found the masters’ works, Rembrandt, Vermeer, Caravaggio, and Sarget, compelling.  “I felt a drive to continue to work with this medium that they were able to create such magic with.  I wanted to try to achieve some mastery.  I think it is a challenge for a lifetime, to use the paint, to refine and develop my  mark making, brush strokes and application. I am still reaching for those aesthetic goals that those artists achieved and I see in their work,” she shares.  

Morning Larz Anderson, 16″ x 11.5″

With a commitment to working in oils, and a busy home life, Linda needed a painting surface that could fit her schedule and painting style.  Gessobord™ filled that hole.  “I discovered Ampersand many years ago when as a mother raising three children, I was searching for a painting surface. In addition to raising my kids, I worked with my husband to run our own professional photographic studio.  So the time I had to devote to my own artwork and painting was precious. I didn’t want to spend the limited hours stretching and gessoing canvasses as I had done previously; I just wanted to be able to go into my studio and get right to the painting. I always enjoyed smooth surfaces, both in the paper I used for drawing and in the canvas I chose.  When I discovered the Gessobords at Boston art stores, I was thrilled.  They were durable, well made, beautifully gessoed – a well finished paint-ready surface!  Later, I discovered that if my painting required a specific format, Ampersand would make panels to meet whatever dimension I needed.  Gessobords were readily available, consistent, fine quality and flexible in meeting my personal requirements,” she explains. 

Water Lilies XXII, 16″ x 24″

Linda’s work has garnered museums and galleries nationwide in addition to numerous awards and publication recognition, including The National Steinbeck Center Museum, Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art, and Point Park University.  Linda will have work on display at the Whistler House Museum of Art and the Danforth Art Museum this summer.  Also, the summer issue of Still Point Arts Quarterly will feature her water lily paintings.  For more information on how you can see Linda’s work in person or online, visit her website.

All things Ampersand, 
Karyn Meyer-Berthel 
Artist & Social Media Specialist 
Ampersand Art Supply 

Click here to explore the full selection of Ampersand panels and tools.